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Russian court rules people living with HIV can adopt children

Written by gaytourism

People living with HIV are now allowed to adopt children in Russia. | Photo: Flickr/Patrik Nygren

Russia’s Constitutional Court has ruled that people living with HIV (PLHIV) can adopt children.

The court ruled that a person – of either sex – who already had children already living with them could adopt them regardless of the adult’s HIV status. But the ban would still apply to PLHIV trying to adopt children from an orphanage.

A couple brought the case to the court after multiple authorities refused to allow them to adopt their surrogate child. They refused because the adoptive mother was living with HIV.

Authorities told the couple allowing the adoption ‘would not match the interests of the child’.

But the court ruled it was unconstitutional to ban PLHIV from adopting children. The court ruled HIV/AIDS was not a threat because it ‘cannot be transmitted by the mere presence of a person with HIV’.

The Moscow Times newspaper argued the court ruling comes amidst efforts in Russia to reduce stigma around HIV. It said the decision comes as part of ‘of a broader state strategy to combat the epidemic and reduce stigma’.

‘Russia’s strategy to eradicate HIV focuses on working with at-risk groups, spreading awareness and fighting discrimination,’ it wrote.

What about same-sex couples?

Despite its efforts to combat the worsening HIV epidemic, Russia still banned a HIV information website aimed at men who have sex with men under its ‘gay propaganda’ law.

The new adoption laws will also not extend to same-sex couples.

In 2014, Russia banned the adoptions of children to people in countries that recognize same-sex marriage.

‘Adoptions can be carried out by members of either sex with the exception of… people in a union of two people of the same sex that has been registered as a married according to the legislation of their country… and also unmarried people in such countries,’ the decree reads.

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